This event better be The One That Ends It All, or I am going to look mighty silly.

The PR machine has revved up into fifth gear. About 4-6 weeks ago, I began calling reporters from the local newspaper in search of an article publicizing our fundraiser. In the meantime I created ads (not free) for other publications, customer cards, coupons, and bilingual flyers. Big honchos (honchas?) in the organization called on favors from friends and suddenly I'm getting free quarter-page ads in the said neewspaper. Our professional shmoozer talked up would-be sponsors and radio shows while I booked us on two local TV shows and got us a free shout out on a popular lunchtime radio broadcast.

But it gets better. A week and a half ago a reporter starts calling me and asking about what's going on. I give her the lines, along with handy phone numbers, statistics, and quips. This past Monday I get another call from a reporter with seniority who has taken the article via coup and wants all the same information. Grrr. But this reporter's a speedy one. She shows up the next day to interview us (the only day the president did not wear spandex to the office) and take a look-see around my humble abode. Wednesday brings her and a camera man. The Shmoozer just can't shut up, as usual, and her demonic laugh makes the hairs in my inner ear scream for mercy. I show them the sights and introduce them to Cecil, my associate manager. Back in the shoes, I show them pair after pair of designer label footwear. He snaps a few pictures, including one of me presenting shoes to the camera.

"It will be in the paper tomorrow," she tells me.

No kidding.

Today I flip to the bottom of the front page and, lo and behold, there's the headline on my quaint project. The best part of the article was that it was purely positive, an unusual sight today. After reading it one had a feeling that, while we were closing one way of helping people, we were beginning a new chapter of reaching out in new ways. Everyone at the office was ecstatic. We fielded at least 50 calls as a direct result of the article. My brother's co-workers were impressed, and my sister didn't notice until about 20 minutes ago.

But let us ask "why is this week so damn shweet?" This week is so damn shweet because I have sold almost $3300 of merchandise befor the sale between two people. We have a good business relationship with two local consignment shops. One of the owners rarely buys from us, but he does price our furs and leathers, as he is trained as a furrier. The other owner runs an upscale boutique consignment shop and is so sweet. She was ecstatic to discover that she arrived just a day after a limousine-load of very nice designer clothes had been priced and given to us (the mother-in-law of a member died and the family is in the liquor business. 'Nuff said). She was a flurry of dyed blonde hair exclaiming as she found one Chanel, Armani, and St. John suit after another, "I never get this quality of clothing consigned at my shop."

To which I replied, "That's because no one in their right mind would consign this to anyone."

We stopped to laugh and continued to giggle on every passing gem. We both knew that some people will only donate to this organization out of tradition and a great tax write-off. No matter, as this was a win-win situation.

Today my second buyer arrived, the owner of a local vintage consignment shop. Everything was going smoothly until two of our volunteers who thoroughly disagree on letting people shop before the sale arrived. My theory is that, 1), when you have so many items that no one will ever notice that anything is missing, and, 2), when you run the risk of being forced to sell the items at half price, selling some items before the sale is a great idea. However, one of the volunteers had a run-in with a sponsor that eventually led to the ruin of a corporate sponsorship, so I was still nervous.

I steered her around them and into the dressing room, where I had stored the vintage clothing. That was just the beginning.

After quickly collecting blasts from the past, we bravely headed out into the Sauna of No Relief, where she amassed great volumes of shoes, belts, housewares, hats, and other random items. By the time we finished the great search and then the research for the Amazing Madonna Belt and the Huge Jug, she was convinced that the two princesses had hid her precious belt, but I was sure that they had no interest from the gaudy relic from the 80's. Later we found it in the mess of her purchases. By the time I rang up her total and helped get everything out, it was later than 4:30 pm (we close at 4 pm) and I still had to fix The Voice Mail System In A Constant State of Snafu. I finally left at 6:30 pm. Nine and a half hours in a sickening warehouse with the Shmoozer, the Princess, and the nicer Purse Lady, and, best of all, Sylvia, Gwen, and Cecil. Gwen was up fr review, so I finished it up, had her read and sign it, and sent it off along with her hours.

What a day. And guess what? Tomorrow I'm going in on my day off because I am driven to not only get this baby off the ground, but to make it soar. More flying lessons will be held on Sunday when our best volunteer, Paul, and my favorite volunteer, Janet, come to jelp along with Janet's kids and the weird kid who drove Kate home from college.

I just can't get enough. It's like strichnine.